Allan Albright allan-albright

Location: New York


How to Find Your Story’s Genre, Even If It Fits in Several

Do you read a particular genre over and over again? Do you continue returning to sci-fi or historical fiction or steampunk or YA?

If you’re looking for me in a bookstore, you’ll find me in the fantasy or historical fiction sections. I keep returning to books that have magic, that takes me out of my modern world, that send me on quests and have me talking with creatures or people I’d never otherwise know.

You can always find more of my works on the website:, I often write essays and articles.

But in many instances, a story can have more than one genre. What might be classified as Fantasy could also fall into the steampunk category. What could be called mystery could also be considered a historical fiction.

It’s incredibly helpful to know what genre your story fits into mostly. Picking one genre creates a strong tool for you as you publish your work. Not just for purposes of finding your audience, but knowing your main genre helps you determine where best to market your book, how to market it, and helps your story be found on Goodreads, Amazon, and other online book websites.


The main themes in your story can clue you in to your story’s main genre, as well as where the story takes place and what your characters do throughout the story. These can act as signposts to help you figure out your story’s genre.

Sometimes the world you’ve created is enough to categorize your story all on it’s on, whether it’s a fantastical world, aliens on Mars, or even a mystical world in the New York subway. A fantastical world could place your story as a fantasy.

The journey your characters experience can also categorize your story. Do they explore a new world? Are they trying to fulfill a prophecy? Are they attempting to solve a mystery?

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Magic? History? Technology? Emotions? What-ifs? The extras in your story can indicate where your story falls. If your story has magical elements that heighten and add details to your story, then it might fall into the fantasy category. If your story takes place in a different time period or involves time travel, it could fall into historical fiction. If your story deals with technology, it’s creation, the issues surrounding it, etc. your story could fall into the sci-fi category. Emotions and what-ifs can land you in realistic fiction, suspense, humor, or sci-fi.

Take some time to define your novel’s main genre and get to marketing your book!



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